Saturday, November 5, 2011


It started well, that month.  Nice and quiet and under control.  Not normal circumstances in my world . . .

Because Bob and I had planned for a long-awaited trip to Mexico for Day of the Dead, we gave up doing the haunted trail at the museum this year.  It was not a last-minute decision; I had told Jennifer (my boss lady) a year and a half ago that last year's Halloween Howl would be our last.  Love it much--but it takes months of planning, the entire month of October to build the trail, and then most of November to take it down and put it away.  A friend of the Museum's director volunteered to run the trail this year.  All was well.

Until the middle of October.  She had a lot of enthusiasm and still thought it would be wonderful--but hadn't actually gotten around to doing anything.  The loss of a haunted trail would seem like no big deal--but the Halloween Howl is a big fundraiser for the museum (we made about $30,000 in the two nights last year) and a huge part of that--the part that brings in the college kids and the teenagers and a lot of adults, and not just families--is the haunted trail.  The museum budget is tight enough without taking a big hit.

So . . . two weeks before the Howl I designed Trail Light (no elaborate scenes or special effects) and gave the big puppy dog eyes to Bob and asked for a day of building from him.  The stars smiled upon us, because Jennifer was able to hire a marvelous carpenter/man of all trades named Jason who really put his heart into the building.  And Brother Michael, who flew into town for our father's birthday got to spend two days of quality time with his sister--building the trail (he is a really good sport).  Then I let him take the weekend off (because, after all, it was Dad's birthday).

Sort of off--he's never been in a kayak, so on Saturday we took him to Wakulla River and put him in one (did I mention he's a good sport?)  It's one thing to see Wild Florida from a riverboat tour; another to see it at eye level.  It was a beautiful day.  A bit chilly so we didn't see as many animals as usual, but one alligator cooperated and posed nicely.   He looked comfortable so Mike decided to admire him from a discrete distance and not disturb him.

Sunday was a bit more sedate--if you can call going to a museum gallery show called Cute and Creepy sedate (  There are some "interesting" pieces in that show (I admire them--wish I had the skill and imagination to put together stuff like this)
Then we went to take Dad his birthday gift (his birthday was Saturday but we couldn't fit the gift into the truck with the kayaks and the three of us)  We couldn't resist getting Dad a radio controlled flying fish.  Seriously--it's a mylar balloon with a movable tail and a weight on a track so it can go up and down.  Here's a video of one in action (we got the clownfish):

Mike decided that the only way he was going to get some rest was to go home, so he hopped on a plane Monday morning.  Bob and I--went to work.  I also worked Tuesday morning--then back to the Museum to work with Jason to finish the trail.  Bob and Rob and Jeff joined us that night to tweak the lights.
Wednesday--errands.  Thursday--some made housecleaning and packing and off to Jacksonville (because it's a heckuva lot cheaper to fly out of Jacksonville than Tallahassee) to hop a plane ourselves for Mexico.  Because after such a nice quiet month--we were ready for that vacation!

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